Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

By Brian Christian
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Algorithms to Live By explores the parallels between computer algorithms and human decision-making processes. With insights from computer science and cognitive psychology, authors Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths demonstrate how algorithms can be applied to everyday life.

The book introduces the concept of optimal stopping, which helps determine the perfect moment to stop searching for alternatives and make a decision. It also explains the optimal strategizing technique known as explore/exploit, which instructs whether to take risks and explore new options, or to exploit known strategies.

Christian and Griffiths delve into the realm of sorting algorithms, examining how they can aid in organizing our priorities. They explore concepts like caching, scheduling, and prediction techniques, and illustrate how they can optimize daily activities and minimize stress.

The authors discuss the dangers of overthinking, highlighting the importance of simplicity and the benefits of relying on trusted systems to avoid decision fatigue. They also explore the concept of randomness and its role in ensuring fairness.

In Algorithms to Live By, Christian and Griffiths merge computer science and human behavior to offer practical advice on decision-making processes. By understanding algorithms, readers can navigate complex choices with confidence, efficiency, and a deeper understanding of their own behaviors and preferences.
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